Recipients of the Meritorious Service Cross
Nicole Rycroft, M.S.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Social entrepreneur Nicole Rycroft is the founder and executive director of Canopy, which forges partnerships between governments, First Nations, environmental groups and forestry companies to protect endangered forests. From stickhandling conservation agreements to convincing publishers to print books on ecologically sustainable paper, she uses determination and diplomacy to engage business executives around the world in safeguarding biodiversity.
Grégory Sadetsky, M.S.C.
Grégory Sadetsky played a pivotal role in developing emergency call location software that enabled the U.S. Coast Guard and Texas first responders to coordinate their evacuation efforts in response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017. This software, which subsequently proved successful during hurricanes Florence and Michael, has become an invaluable public safety tool.
Wilton Littlechild, C.M., A.O.E., M.S.C., Q.C.
The Honourable Murray Sinclair, C.C., M.S.C.
St. Andrews, Manitoba
Marie Wilson, C.M., O.N.W.T., M.S.C.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Justice Murray Sinclair, Chief Wilton Littlechild and Marie Wilson shouldered the responsibility for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada with fortitude, compassion and perseverance. Over six years, they led the examination of the Indian Residential School system, combing through myriad documents and witnessing the courage of survivors who shared their stories. Their final report invites all Canadians to confront the inequities of the past, and calls on governments and individuals alike to move forward, with greater understanding, towards reconciliation.
Note: The Meritorious Service Decorations awarded to Mr. Littlechild and Ms. Wilson were presented to them at a previous ceremony.
Recipients of the Meritorious Service Medal
Alexandros Mustakas, M.S.M.
Founding artistic and managing director of Drayton Entertainment, Alex Mustakas led its dramatic expansion from a single, grassroots playhouse to one of Canada’s largest theatre companies. This unique Canadian model connects seven affiliated venues in small-town southwestern Ontario that offer stage productions with professional actors and musicians at modest ticket prices. Audiences, performers and local economies alike have benefited from a reinvigorated theatre scene.
Joseph Michael Roberts, M.S.M.
Langley, British Columbia
Drawing from his past experience as a homeless youth, Joe Roberts created The Push For Change to raise awareness of homelessness. He set out on a 17-month journey across Canada pushing a shopping cart to more than 450 community events and 200 classrooms. His efforts have raised over half a million dollars for youth programs and have rallied community partners across the nation to take action.
Hana Zalzal, M.S.M.
Civil engineer Hana Zalzal founded Cargo Cosmetics to help support a more sustainable global makeup industry. By replacing often harmful and less effective synthetic chemicals with natural ingredients, she designed portable and eco-friendly products that became known to professional makeup artists, celebrities and consumers for their avant-garde designs and convenient packaging. Over the past 20 years, her business has grown into a multi-million-dollar international brand available in more than 1 400 stores in a dozen countries, bringing recognition to Canadian innovation.
Recipients of the Medal of Bravery
Kyle Busquine, M.B.
Julio Cabrera, M.B.
Jehangir Faisal, M.B.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
On June 28, 2018, Kyle Busquine, Julio Cabrera and Jehangir Faisal rescued a man with visual impairments who had fallen on the subway tracks in Toronto, Ontario. The man was on the westbound side of the Broadview station when he accidentally stepped off the platform, fell onto the tracks and severely injured his leg. Messrs. Busquine, Cabrera and Faisal were all located at different points on the platform when they heard the man’s cry for help. They simultaneously rushed to the scene and jumped onto the tracks. Not knowing when the next train was due, and mindful of the electrified tracks, they quickly and carefully worked together to lift the injured man back onto the platform. The three rescuers stayed with him until transit security arrived.
Note: The Bravery Decoration awarded to Mr. Faisal was presented to him at a previous ceremony.
Sergeant Michael Fonseca, M.B.
On June 13, 2018, off-duty Sergeant Michael Fonseca, of the Toronto Police Service, rescued two individuals from their burning home in Burlington, Ontario. Woken by the high-pitched sound of an overheated propane tank, he saw his neighbor’s house fully engulfed in flames. As a qualified bomb technician, Sgt Fonseca was aware that the fire surrounding the home’s propane tanks could result in an explosion capable of killing anyone within range. He rushed into the home and escorted an elderly victim outside before re-entering to find a second victim in the burning kitchen. Sgt Fonseca led the man through thick smoke to safety, and then ran to direct emergency personnel to the scene.
Pierre Lessard, M.B.
On July 25, 2017, Pierre Lessard rescued his wife who was trapped in her vehicle as it was sinking in the Kiamika River in Lac-des-Écorces, Quebec. Alerted by his wife’s cries for help, he spotted the vehicle and dashed into the river. He hung onto the driver’s door and tried to guide his wife, who was panicking, so that she could get out through the vehicle’s open window. Realizing that the vehicle was being carried away by the current and that he could no longer touch the bottom, he positioned his feet against the door and pulled his wife as hard as he could out through the window. As she sank to the bottom in a state of shock, he managed to catch her and swim her back to shore.
Auxiliary Constable Max Milan, M.B.
On March 18, 2017, Auxiliary Constable Max Milan, of the Peterborough Police Service, rescued a girl from the Otonabee River. Arriving on the scene, he saw the unresponsive girl in the river and immediately jumped off the ice-covered bank into the freezing water. He swam towards the girl and tried, unsuccessfully, to hoist her onto the elevated river bank. His partner threw a leash into the water, which Auxiliary Constable Milan wrapped around the girl’s chest. He then pushed her to shore where his partner and their service dog were able to pull her from the icy water. Auxiliary Constable Milan then performed CPR and wrapped the girl in warm clothing until emergency services arrived.
Tristan Reddy, M.B.
Tyler Reddy, M.B.
On February 17, 2017, 17-year-old Tristan Reddy and his younger brother, Tyler, rescued two people from a burning house in Keswick, Ontario. Racing to their neighbours’ home, the brothers quickly found the first victim and escorted her outside. They then re-entered the residence and searched on their hands and knees for a man who was stranded in the living room due to mobility issues. Unable to move the victim, Tyler ran home to retrieve a jacket while Tristan remained with the man. As the fire grew in intensity, the brothers used the jacket as a makeshift litter to drag the victim through heavy black smoke to safety.
Connor Stanley, M.B.
On January 8, 2018, 17-year-old Connor Stanley rescued his younger brother from a house fire in Waubaushene, Ontario. After a fire broke out next to the family’s Christmas tree, flames rapidly spread to the rest of the house. As he exited the home, Mr. Stanley realized his younger brother was still inside. He proceeded to kick down the front door and found his brother had collapsed in the living room. Surrounded by thick smoke and flames, Mr. Stanley hoisted his brother over his shoulders and carried him to safety. He attempted to re-enter the burning house in an effort to locate his mother and youngest brother, but the heat drove him back. Thankfully, all family members evacuated the building and survived.
Recipients of the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers
For over 30 years, Dominique Bellemare has served in executive positions with World Animal Protection International and World Animal Protection Canada, providing them with leadership and pro bono counsel. His efforts have ensured that both organizations benefit from best practices in modern governance.
For the past 12 years, Jill Bobula has been giving her time to raising awareness about Tourette Syndrome in her community. Through her involvement with Tourette Ottawa, she provides training sessions to professionals and to family members of people with Tourette Syndrome while working with her local chapter members to develop promotional posters to mobilize her community around the cause.
John Christopher Bryant
Canadian railway enthusiast John Christopher Bryant has dedicated the past three decades to the Bytown Railway Society and the Canada Science and Technology Museum, assisting in the curation, storage and acquisition of the railway collection. Notably, he has been a key collaborator in the maintenance and operation of the iconic Shay locomotive.
Colonel Gregory Hug, C.D. (Retired)
Since 1991, Greg Hug has served as a member of the board of directors of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) Regimental Society, and as board chair from 2015 to 2019, to help preserve the history and position of the regiment in Canadian society. Notably, he secures and maintains riding and operating facilities for the Ceremonial Mounted Troop, and assists with the society’s artifact exhibit at the Calgary Military Museum.
Joel King has been volunteering his leadership, financial expertise and fundraising skills for more than 25 years, helping to raise millions of dollars for the Combined Jewish Appeal Campaign and the Hope & Cope Cancer Wellness Centre. He also created the Alexandre Bilodeau Fund for Adapted Sports, and provided strategic advice to the Jewish General Hospital and the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.
As a member of the Anglican Spiritual Care team at The Ottawa Hospital since 1989, Primrose Paruboczy has been providing spiritual guidance to patients during their hospital stay. Through her efforts, patients have found the strength and hope needed to deal with their circumstances and a means through which they can feel at peace.
Catherine Elizabeth Thorn
Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
As chair of the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association, Elizabeth Thorn works to protect the biodiversity of the Bruce Peninsula and establish a path for conservation and sustainable development for future generations. She also contributes her time to the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory, and previously established the Ottawa branch of the Big Sisters Association.
Recipient of the Order of Canada (Companion)
The Honourable Murray Sinclair, C.C., M.S.C.
St. Andrews, Manitoba
Murray Sinclair has dedicated his life to truth, justice and reconciliation. Manitoba’s first Indigenous judge, he has long championed Indigenous peoples’ rights and freedoms, and has headed several significant public inquiries including the province’s Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. With his trademark intellect, compassion and courage, he chaired the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he heard and documented the experiences of thousands of residential school survivors, and started the country on a journey of healing. A retired senator and esteemed mentor, he continues his lifelong commitment to building bridges between Canadians.